user icon

Public opposed to Russia hosting F1 on political grounds

  • Published on 26 Sep 2014 12:48
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Just two weeks before F1 action kicks off at Sochi, the sport's decision to press ahead with the inaugural Russian grand prix remains highly controversial. Despite the Ukraine crisis, the MH17 atrocity and high tension between Vladimir Putin and the West, Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA are determined to staging round 16 of the 2014 world championship as scheduled.

Charlie Whiting has inspected and approved the newly-constructed Sochi Autodrom, and F1's official website now declares that it has been officially launched and opened. "I am glad to report that the first ever formula one race track in Russia has now officially opened and very soon our country will host the inaugural 2014 Russian grand prix at this amazing venue," said race promoter Sergey Vorobyev.

For their part, the teams are bound contractually to follow the lead of Ecclestone and the FIA. "We must rely on the governing body and the promoter to give us guidance," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Public opinion, however, may be another matter entirely. The German news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst commissioned a poll that shows 71 per cent of those surveyed are opposed to Russia hosting formula one on political grounds. But the Russian deputy prime minister does not agree. "Sport is outside politics and this principle must be observed," Dmitry Kozak is quoted by the Itar Tass news agency. (GMM)

Replies (1)

Login to reply
  • My compliments to “F1TODAY” for having the stones to run this article and provide a forum for related comments. None of the other Internet “journals” appear willing to do that and risk annoying commercial interests which feed on F1.

    To be clear, I am not anti-Russian. I count many among my acquaintances and I know them to be decent folks who are just endeavoring to making their way the same as the rest of us. They are entitled to the fun and spectacles of sports of all kinds. However, they and their countrymen need every reminder that the rest of us can make about the ethical duties and moral challenges of 21st Century world citizenship. And their ambivalence is fair game whenever it ignores freedom curtailment, hardship and oppression purposefully visited by their KGB-retread national leaders on peaceful territorial neighbors, like the Ukraine. The despicable land-grab based on nonsensical “historical allegiances” vis-a-vis the Crimea and foment seeded throughout the eastern boundary lands deserve the strongest possible world rebuke. Throw in the murder of innocent airplane passengers by stupid partisans equipped with high-altitude ground-to-air rockets but no situational sense and the outrage quotient requires strong balancing measures.

    I haven’t done the math, but the 70%+ majority in favor of boycotting the Sochi GP looks similar to the plurality (of nations) which elected not to attend or participate in the 1980 Olympics after the soviet invasion of Afghanistan. So, what’s the difference? Well, Toto Wolff and others offer that it relates to team obligations to follow wherever the FIA leads: read, Bernie, the moral wizard decides for them. Or that this is about sports, not politics. But maybe it really relates to the 50,000 cars and vans that Mercedes sold in 2013 in Russia, an important export market for German vehicles – also French (Renault with almost 30% if the imported car market when combined with Nissan), and Italian (Fiat). Lord knows it can’t be about the appeal of $493-599 tickets to common Russians with average incomes of only $825/mo (June 2014) and excluding the almost 16m Russians/over 11 % with incomes less that $216/mo. Oh well, Sochi – which is a helluva long way from any large Russian population center - has a nice big harbor all set-up for the mega-yachts that Bernie and his ilk can use to traverse the Black Sea for one last warm weather bash. Enjoy your box seat, Putin, and the USA/EU economic and travel sanctions that I hope strangle you and your group of equally corrupt oligarchs. I won’t be watching.

    • + 0
    • Oct 1 2014 - 14:27

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar